Automation Concepts & Technologies, Inc. Blog

Welcome to our blog, full of IT tips and business technology best practices.

Tip of the Week: What To Do With a Wet Smartphone

Tip of the Week: What To Do With a Wet Smartphone

Even though no one will admit to it themselves, everyone knows that person that, for some reason or another, has dropped his/her smartphone in the toilet, or into the sink, or into a puddle. Needless to say that dropping electronics into any bit of water isn’t typically recommended, but today we will talk about what to do if this happens to you.

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What is Cloud Waste and How Can You Prevent It?

What is Cloud Waste and How Can You Prevent It?

Cloud computing offers businesses an economical way to obtain the software and services they need. Yet, there comes a point when having too much of a good thing becomes wasteful, no matter how affordable the service may be. If a business owner isn’t careful about how they utilize the cloud, then they can unknowingly find themselves experiencing “cloud waste.”


Simply put, cloud waste occurs when more cloud resources are consumed than what your business actually needs. Business 2 Community provides a helpful list of various ways that cloud waste can manifest itself:

  • Instances or VMs which are left running, chewing up $/CPU-Hr costs and network charges
  • Orphaned volumes (volumes not attached to any servers), which are not being used and are incurring monthly $/GB charges
  • Old snapshots of those or other volumes
  • Old, out-of-date machine images

Any kind of waste is tragic due to it being preventable and cloud waste is no different. The tragedy of cloud waste is that it hurts bottom lines. For businesses, the waste erodes their return on assets, return on equity, and net revenue.

Additionally, cloud waste hurts the bottom lines of cloud providers, seeing as they are more profitable when they can oversubscribe their data centers. Consequently, when cloud providers can’t oversubscribe, they’re forced to build more data centers than they need to--a very expensive endeavor. On the surface, this fact may seem inconsequential to consumers. However, like any profit-minded business, a cloud provider will charge enough for their services to cover their expenses and still be profitable, which means users will inevitably be charged extra to cover the expense of a cloud provider’s waste.

Preventing cloud waste can be achieved with proper oversight and planning whenever your company’s cloud services are implemented. In order to spot cloud waste in your company’s cloud solutions, this may mean taking a fresh look at your cloud setup. More likely than not, this will require an outside perspective, like consulting with IT professionals. Automation Concepts & Technologies, Inc. can do this for you and determine if there’s any waste or not, as well as suggest changes that will remedy the waste and improve operational efficiency. Call us at (508) 622-5100 to learn more.

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4 Money-Saving Measures Any Business Owner Can Implement

4 Money-Saving Measures Any Business Owner Can Implement

Unless you’re at the helm of a Fortune 500 company, it’s likely that you’re always on the lookout for new ways to save money by tweaking your company’s operations. When you’re in money-saving mode, you understand that even a small change can rack up a lot in savings. To help you in your quest to save money, consider implementing these four practices.

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Why it’s Worth it to Ditch the Desktops

Why it’s Worth it to Ditch the Desktops

Is there any good reason to use desktops in your office? While many businesses still utilize workstations, it’s becoming increasingly obvious that the advantages afforded by mobile technology should make desktops obsolete, especially in light of a recent study.


The study, performed by Digital Strategy Consulting, found that mobile technology, like mobile devices and apps, boost worker productivity by a whopping 34 percent! This is a huge number that any growth-minded business can’t afford to ignore.

Consider for a moment the math behind a 34 percent increase in worker productivity. For the average office worker, this translates to a gain of 240 hours of work per year. If you switch just a few employees from desktops to mobile devices, then it’s essentially like you’re adding a new full-time staff member--and at significantly lower cost than what it would take to hire and onboard new talent. For business owners who are only clinging to desktops due to the perceived cost savings of not having to upgrade just yet, it should be painfully obvious that this money-saving strategy no longer applies.

In fact, thinking along these lines, it stands to reason that a business owner is actually losing money by not switching to mobile devices right now. Essentially, any time that a worker spends chained to their desk by their PC equates to them being 34 percent less productive than they could be. Therefore, even if you’re holding on to a fleet of desktops simply because they’re already paid for and they seem to be in good working order, the productivity you’re missing out on by using them will quickly add up and make these machines more costly to keep around than what they’re worth.

To take this hard look at the advantages of mobile technology even further, consider the fact that younger workers, namely Millennials, prefer using mobile technologies, and they’re skilled at it. Next, consider the fact that by 2025, Millennials are set to make up three quarters of the workforce. This means two things: 1) that if you have an affinity for desktops, it’s a preference that soon won’t be shared by the vast majority of the workforce, and 2) going mobile now, will reap major productivity dividends in the future.

If you’re now convinced that switching from desktops to mobile technologies is the way to go, then call Automation Concepts & Technologies, Inc. at (508) 622-5100 for assistance. Due to the complexities and security concerns of “going mobile,” you’re going to want to have a secure plan in place to help ease the transition--one that covers your needs and protects your business from mobile threats. Helping your business in this way is a task that Automation Concepts & Technologies, Inc. is well equipped for. Call us today and don’t lose another day of productivity due to desktops!

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Why Managed IT Makes Sense for Busy Business Owners

Why Managed IT Makes Sense for Busy Business Owners

Managed services have been around for ages. For example, wealthy individuals will often hire someone to take care of their extravagant home, like doing the housework or tending to the garden. Did you know that managed services can be acquired by the average business owner to further enhance their organization’s operations?

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How Outsourced IT Frees Up Time and Gives You Peace of Mind

How Outsourced IT Frees Up Time and Gives You Peace of Mind

Running a business is hard. As a business owner, you know this better than anyone else. You have to juggle your assets, manage your workforce, and schedule out tasks to those who are most qualified. Yet, there will likely come a time when a task comes along that nobody within your business is qualified to perform. For many organizations, this task is IT management.


The truth is that outsourcing is a valid option for businesses these days, and it’s especially valuable for small businesses that have a limited budget or workforce. Some small businesses have trouble attracting and retaining top talent, especially in remote areas with a limited amount of talent to choose from in the first place. Others simply don’t have time to deal with routine maintenance, which will inevitably lead to broken technology.

One of the best ways to take advantage of outsourcing is for your organization’s technical needs, like IT management and maintenance. You started your business so that you could do what you love and turn a profit. If you’re focused on these goals rather than managing your technology 24/7, you’ll find that, all of a sudden, your dreams are within your grasp.

Besides, wouldn’t it be nice to know that your technology is being handled by professional technicians? You don’t want just any computer novice performing maintenance on your business’s IT. Information technology is difficult to handle at times, and failing to manage it properly can lead to disastrous results. If your company’s server were to fall victim to an untimely hardware failure, you could be looking at massive repair costs or replacement fees. That’s not even mentioning the irreplaceable data that was lost when the server went down. Unless you have support that’s ready and able to help at any given moment, these disasters could very well break your business and impede your progress further.

By outsourcing this need to Automation Concepts & Technologies, Inc., you can essentially eliminate this uncertainty. By having us on standby and ready to assist you with your technology at all times, you can say "goodbye" to downtime and say “hello” to productivity. Even if you have an in-house team of technology professionals working to keep your workstations and servers working as intended, they likely don’t have enough time and resources to implement new and exciting technology solutions. We’re sure that your technicians could use a break from working around the clock, and you’ll appreciate having an extra set of eyes on issues that can prevent them from turning into major problems.

Our trusted technicians want to see you succeed, and they’ll work hard to make sure that it happens; that’s more than any ordinary break-fix IT company can offer. If your organization could use a hand with both technology management and implementing new solutions, give us a call at (508) 622-5100.

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Here Are 3 Reasons VoIP Makes Perfect Sense

Here Are 3 Reasons VoIP Makes Perfect Sense

Businesses have always relied on telephone communication systems to stay in touch with external and internal contacts. However, the traditional method of telecommunication has fallen behind the times, giving way to more flexible solutions that are designed to save businesses money and improve efficiency. In particular, Voice over Internet Protocol can be a valuable asset for small businesses that are experiencing growth.


Rather than using telephone lines to transfer and receive calls, VoIP uses the Internet to send your voice to the recipient. Considering how most businesses need an Internet connection in the first place, using VoIP is simply utilizing a technology that’s necessary in order to eliminate an unnecessary expense.

Differences Between VoIP and Traditional Phone Systems
Does your business utilize VoIP? If not, you should consider doing so as soon as possible. It’s a great way to cut down on your operational costs and improve workflow. Here are some of the main differences and advantages that your organization can experience from using VoIP as a part of your communications infrastructure.

  • Additional features: While your traditional phone system might support services like caller ID, user blocking, call forwarding, conference calling, etc, VoIP offers all of these services, plus some. Unlike the traditional phone system, which you need to be close to the receiver to use, VoIP works right from your desktop PC, laptop, or smartphone. As long as you have an Internet connection, you can use your work number from anywhere, allowing for flexibility that the traditional phone system envies. Plus, VoIP offers several other features, including video conferencing, which can be very helpful for bridging the gap between employees while working remotely.
  • Decreased costs: If you’re paying for both a landline and an Internet connection for your office, you’re essentially paying for one too many services. Considering that landlines are often bundled with other services that you may not necessarily want, it’s more affordable and efficient to simply use VoIP as your preferred communications solution. Add in the fact that you can say goodbye to long distance, and you have a convenient and cost-effective package.
  • Flexibility: Traditional phone systems require an immense amount of work to add new lines to an infrastructure. Depending on your office’s setup, new phone lines need to be installed, and you might even need to remodel your office. Both can be expensive, but with VoIP, you don’t need to waste time or money on improving your infrastructure. As long as your Internet connection and internal network can sustain the traffic and strain, VoIP will work as intended.

If your organization is ready to implement a solid new communications infrastructure, a VoIP solution can go a long way towards improving operations. To learn more, give us a call at (508) 622-5100.

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5 Ways to Put Your Staff Ahead of Frivolous Office Expenses

b2ap3_thumbnail_cut_your_costs_400.jpgEvery business wants to be like Google and provide employees with a dynamic place to work, filled with amenities. It would probably be a dream come true for your organization to sit next to Google on Glassdoor’s annual list of “50 Best Places to Work.” Reality check: you’re not Google, as you’re reminded of this every time you attempt to balance your company’s budget.

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3 Ways You Can Save Money By Turning IT into a Service

b2ap3_thumbnail_optimization_it_400.jpgYour business thrives when your technology is running smoothly, but when it fails to function as intended, it can have unforeseen consequences that reach deep into your IT budget. One of the best ways that your organization can optimize your IT is by taking advantage of outsourced services, but you don’t want to approach these “as a service” offerings uninformed.

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Your IT Needs to Be Involved with Your Cloud Solution

b2ap3_thumbnail_cloud_it_host_400.jpgOne of the greatest advances in technology solutions to have emerged in the past few years is cloud computing. In fact, it’s one of the most popular Software as a Service (SaaS) platforms out there for the modern business. Are you prepared to commit to a cloud solution that can potentially improve productivity on all levels of your business infrastructure?

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How to Prevent Your Computers from Inflating Your Electricity Bill

b2ap3_thumbnail_computer_electricity_costs_400.jpgTechnology is getting more powerful, but have you considered where all of that power comes from? Not many people actually take the time to understand how much energy their PC or workstation is using, but this could potentially be increasing your operating costs higher than they need to. Try taking the time to calculate your PC’s energy usage to get a feel for what your workstation is costing your business and the environment.

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What Does Your 2015 IT Budget Look Like?

b2ap3_thumbnail_it_budget_info_400.jpgAs we near the end of 2014, the topic of IT budgeting is on everyone’s minds. How much are you willing to spend, and on what? In order to provide optimal figures for the new year, you need to take some time to plan out what you think you need to spend, versus how much you’re willing to spend, on IT. Thankfully, you don’t have to do this alone.

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Tip of the Week: How to Find the Perfect VoIP Plan for Your Business

b2ap3_thumbnail_voip_for_you_400.jpgIf your business has a reliable and high-speed Internet connection, then you’ve got what it takes to experience significant savings by switching your company’s phone system to VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol). Once you’ve decided to make the switch, you will next have to select a VoIP solution that’s right for your organization. Here are some tips to help you make this important decision.

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3 Easy Actions Your Business Can Take to Go Green!

b2ap3_thumbnail_start_going_green_400.jpgWith more businesses becoming aware of the environmental impact of their day-to-day operations, one would assume that a practice like printing would be on the decline due to how wasteful it is. Unfortunately, this isn't the case. Despite advances in digital communication, paper consumption continues to increase by 20 percent each year in modern offices.

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Do Your Remote Workers Have You On Pins and Needles?

b2ap3_thumbnail_remote_worker_concern_400.jpgGiving your team the opportunity to work from home can be tricky business. Who knows how distracted they can get without you around to keep them on track? Still, working remotely has its advantages, for both you and your employees - even if you feel disconnected from them.

It doesn't have to be that way, though. By taking certain steps and measures, you'll feel like your out-of-office team is right in the office with you. Here are a couple of tricks you can use to bring your remote employees into your office... remotely!

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About Automation Concepts & Technologies, Inc.

Automation Concepts & Technologies, Inc. strives to provide the best comprehensive IT, Computer, and Networking services to small businesses. We can handle all of your organization's technology challenges, starting with planning, implementing, and supporting the IT solutions that are critical to your growth and success. Learn More

(508) 285-5080

130 South Washington Street
North Attleboro, Massachusetts 02760